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Crosslinking strategies for the microfluidic production of microgels

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journal contribution
posted on 21.06.2021, 13:38 by Minjun Chen, Guido Bolognesi, Goran Vladisavljevic
This article provides a systematic review of the crosslinking strategies used to produce microgel particles in microfluidic chips. Various ionic crosslinking methods for the gelation of charged polymers are discussed, including external gelation via crosslinkers dissolved or dispersed in the oil phase; internal gelation methods using crosslinkers added to the dispersed phase in their non-active forms, such as chelating agents, photo-acid generators, sparingly soluble or slowly hydrolyzing compounds, and methods involving competitive ligand exchange; rapid mixing of polymer and crosslinking streams; and merging polymer and crosslinker droplets. Covalent crosslinking methods using enzymatic oxidation of modified biopolymers, photo-polymerization of crosslinkable monomers or polymers, and thiol-ene “click” reactions are also discussed, as well as methods based on the sol−gel transitions of stimuli responsive polymers triggered by pH or temperature change. In addition to homogeneous microgel particles, the production of structurally heterogeneous particles such as composite hydrogel particles entrapping droplet interface bilayers, core−shell particles, organoids, and Janus particles are also discussed. Microfluidics offers the ability to precisely tune the chemical composition, size, shape, surface morphology, and internal structure of microgels by bringing multiple fluid streams in contact in a highly controlled fashion using versatile channel geometries and flow configurations, and allowing for controlled crosslinking.

History

School

  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering

Department

  • Chemical Engineering

Published in

Molecules

Volume

26

Issue

12

Publisher

MDPI AG

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© The Authors

Publisher statement

This is an Open Access Article. It is published by MDPI under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0). Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Acceptance date

18/06/2021

Publication date

2021-06-20

Copyright date

2021

eISSN

1420-3049

Language

en

Depositor

Dr Goran Vladisavljevic. Deposit date: 20 June 2021

Article number

3752